Tulsa Health Experts Update COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution After First Month

Sunday, January 17th 2021, 8:10 am

TULSA, Okla. -

It's been just over a month since the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in Tulsa County. The Tulsa Health Department said, all things considered, it's going pretty smoothly.

City health experts gave News On 6 an update on phase two of the vaccine distribution.

Tulsa Health Department executive director Dr. Bruce Dart said his team is working around the clock as the vaccine clinics are functioning very well.

"If we have less than a 14-hour day, I'm fairly shocked," Dr. Dart said. "This has been 24/7 since last March."

THD initially started with a drive-thru process and has since transitioned to walkthroughs to schedule more appointments in their clinic. The health department said no appointments are being given on-site. Instead, appointments must be scheduled through the online portal. 

Dr. Dart said people are showing up trying to get an appointment, but he said if someone were to cancel, that appointment immediately goes out to the next person in the portal's cue.

"Every slot we have open is filled and we're getting vaccines into arms," Dr. Dart said. 

Dr. Dart said rumors of extra vaccine doses circulating is misleading. He's asking people to be patient.

"They want to get in. They want to register. They want to get an appointment. We all do," Dr. Dart said. 

Dr. Dart said a source of his daily motivation is watching medical professionals, new and retired, putting forth equal effort day after day.

"They're my heroes. Every darn one of them. They're still there," Dr. Dart said. "They're still professional, compassionate, and empathetic."

He said they're administering about 800 shots per day at the THD's clinic but are hoping to ramp that up this coming week. The vaccines are portioned out to several other clinics across the area, so Dr. Dart notes Tulsa County is actually closer to about 1,500 to 2,000 vaccinations per day. 

The state is promising more vaccines. Moving forward, Dr. Dart is hoping to open additional slots to each daily clinic.

"Keep hopeful and we ask that you stay safe, but we will get everyone who wants a shot, we will get you a shot," Dr. Dart said. 

Unlike a regular flu clinic, Dr. Dart said THD's clinic must hold people for 15 to 30 minutes to observe them.

Out of the vaccines given at their clinic, only 13 had adverse reactions.

For more information on the state's vaccination plan, click here.